June 14, 2019

Kurds say White Helmets not welcome to help fight fires in northeast Syria

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Kurdistan 24

Journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg

The White Helmets rescue organization has offered to help with firefighting efforts in northeast Syria where thousands of acres of farmland have been recently destroyed, but Syrian Kurds who control the area have responded by saying that the group is not welcome.

The volunteer organization, officially known as Syria Civil Defense, has garnered much international attention for their work since 2014, most famously in photos and videos showing them pulling civilians from rubble following deadly bombings in various Syrian cities.

It made a public request on Wednesday “to open safe corridors in to fight the fires in the Aljazeera and Deir Ezzor regions in eastern Syria.”

White Helmets leader Raed Saleh also said in a tweet that he was receiving messages from the group’s volunteers in the area. “They’re worrying about the massive fire of the wheat and the barley fields which threat[en] the food security of all the Syrians.”

Read the full article and more in Kurdistan 24.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...